Saturday, April 5, 2014

Parting is Such a Sweet Sorrow

 We always end our week with a fiesta complete with music, dancing, laughing, and celebrating our time together. So much fun!

 The children love the pinata — everyone gets a chance to take a swing before the candy comes out.

The next day, we gathered for prayer before we took off for the border. Saying goodbye is always emotional for everyone. But now more than ever, there are ways to stay in touch throughout the year.

A group of the team walked across the bridge from Mexico back to the USA.

We want to thank All Saints members and our families for all the support and prayers for our team and the children at Casa Hogar. We are safely back in Minnesota and have brought back wonderful memories of a great week!

The Mexico Trip is About Relationships!

One of the things we love about the Mexico Mission trip is all the relationships that develop — with the children at Casa Hogar and between the members of the team.

It is a wonderful intergenerational opportunity where multiple ages work together on servant teams — an experience that is sometimes lacking in our everyday lives.

Families have the chance to work and serve together and new friendships are formed. The children that we have grown to love over the years eagerly await our visit all year, and we love to catch up with them just like any "family" does at a reunion.

More than anything, we acknowledge that we are all part of God's family, so we have that sense that, even though we are miles apart, we remain in each others' hearts when we part.

Soak It All In — Children's Ministry

 In between all the painting, meals, and project work, we did children's ministry activities.

Our theme for the week was "Soak It All In" based on John 7:37-38.

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let anyone who believes in me drink. As the scripture said, "Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water."

A lot of our activities revolved around the theme of water.
 In addition, we did other fun things like face painting which the children loved!

One of our bigger projects was creating tie-dye shirts for all the Mexico Team members and the children.

We talked about how, just as each shirt was created differently, we are created differently by God. But each shirt has its own beauty created out of water and the colorful dyes.

The children had so much fun picking out the colors they wanted to use for their own shirts and then opening them up to see what masterpieces they had created.

 The best part of all is that we all had fun signing each others' tie-dyed shirts on the last day.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Creating Beauty in Two Rooms

 We tackled painting two rooms — Paloma's room and the little girls' rooms.

We painted the walls (many hands helped with the painting and clean-up) and then turned our amazing artists loose.

In the little girls' room, we asked them what they wanted on the walls and came up with some beautiful designs.

Another project was reinforcing a rickety set of shelves — we took all the clothes off, folded them, and then put them back when the shelves were done.

In the little girls room, they were pulling a piece of wood across when they wanted privacy in the bathroom.

We ended up installing some beautiful shower curtains that provide privacy and added color to the new room.

Penny, All Saints' Director of Children's Ministry, led the painting project. One of Penny's many gifts is her ability to involve everyone in the project! In addition, she is able to identify artistic gifts and worked with the young artists on our team to create the beautiful paintings on the freshly painted walls.

Jaime, a first-time Mexico Mission trip member, is a accomplished artist. He created a mouse and a beautiful flower on the ceiling right over the bed of one of the girls who is disabled and spends much of the time on her back.
 Paloma is a wonderful artist, too. She designed and painted all the cars on one end of her room.

 Brenda painting a butterfly on the wall of her room.
 Jaime working on the mouse.

Many hands helped get all the initial painting done.

Mitchel is an budding artist in addition to being a great soccer player. He worked on a drawing in the little girls' room.
 In addition to the painting, the work crew worked on repairing ceiling fans and toilets in the rooms.

Melanie working on the butterflies located on the wall entering the little girls' room.
Emily (left) and Renee (below) painting flowers.

Jaime's finished mouse drawing and flower/butterfly drawing which is on the ceiling.

Paloma working on the window frames.

Marni (below) is an art teacher and brought her many talents to the painting project.

Elle helped with the butterfly wall.

Mitchel sketching his drawing on the wall and standing beside his finished painting (below).

Penny created a tree around the doorway.

The girls requested a unicorn on the walls and Marni created one for them!

The two rooms are finished and are both beautiful! Thanks to all who helped paint, draw, repair, and clean up.